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Spencer Dinwiddie rumors rise with trade deadline Thursday

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Washington Wizards v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

In a series of stories, podcasts and social media posting, NBA writers report that the Nets are in talks with various teams about Spencer Dinwiddie but that there’s no guarantee the 28-year-old point guard will be gone by the 3 p.m. Thursday deadline. And if he is, expect whatever deal the Nets make to be among the latest on that often hectic day.

Writers for ESPN, The Athletic, Bleacher Report and The Ringer all write that Dinwiddie is attracting a lot of attention. Although he’s still out —and not with the team for months, Dinwiddie is prized because whoever acquires him will also acquire his Bird Rights going into this summer’s free agency. Dinwiddie, who’s been with the Nets for five years, has a $12.3 million player option next season which he is highly likely to decline. That’s about $5 million less than he’s likely to receive next season after free agency. Moreover, with the acquisition of James Harden, there’s little room.

Shams Charania reports interest from three teams, the previously mentioned Heat and Pistons as well as a new player, the Raptors. Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report has an even broader list, adding the Rockets, Pacers and Bulls to the list.

Charania writes...

Several teams remain engaged in talks regarding Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie. Sources said the Pistons, Heat and Raptors have shown interest in Dinwiddie with the ability to use his Bird rights and offer him a deal for up to five years in free agency. Dinwiddie is expected to opt out of his $12.3 million player option for next season.

And Fischer adds...

Another guard set to enter free agency this summer, Dinwiddie has attracted interest from several teams before the deadline, sources said. Detroit, Houston, Indiana and Chicago have looked into acquiring Dinwiddie as a means to obtain his Bird rights, should the guard waive his 2021-22 player option as expected.

Neither suggest who those teams might give up in return for the 6’6” point guard but persistent reports from ESPN and The Ringer, among others, have the Nets targeting a defensive wing. The question is how much would another team be willing to give up for a player still rehabbing from a partially torn ACL. The rosters of those teams with rumored interest including everyone from Norman Powell, the Raptors 6’4” wing, to Rodney McGruder, the Pistons ;similarly sized wing.

With so many reports from so many varied sources, there seems no doubt that the Nets are pushing for a deal, as Fischer notes...

Dinwiddie stands as the Nets’ last real trade chip to improve the roster ahead of their expected championship run. “They’re definitely shopping Dinwiddie,” said another assistant general manager. Brooklyn has been gauging trade interest on Dinwiddie dating back to November’s draft, when the Nets discussed him with Orlando in Aaron Gordon trade scenarios, and with Houston as part of potential packages for acquiring James Harden. The Nets, however, won’t part with Dinwiddie easily. Brooklyn could still extract a valuable return for the point guard if he were to leave this offseason by sign-and-trade.

Seth Partnow of The Athletic, in a discussion with Nets beat writer Alex Schiffer, agrees that a sign-and-trade offers some value for Brooklyn.

I think the better argument for not trading him now if the market is cool is he might have some decent value in a sign-and-trade deal to teams that could use Dinwiddie longer term and are perhaps less concerned about making the Nets better in July or August than they would be in March heading toward the playoffs.

That latter point, Partnow argues, is going to limit contending teams’ interest. More likely, teams with the most interest are those out of the playoffs.

He also notes that although it’s not strictly legal, teams interested in Dinwiddie are going to want to know if Dinwiddie is interested in them. No need to pursue his Bird Rights if Dinwiddie is dead set against signing long-term, adding with a bit of tongue-in-cheek...

On some level, it’s a game of chicken. If the team receiving Dinwiddie is treating his Bird rights as something of real value, deals like Marcus Morris Sr. to the Clippers or Harrison Barnes to the Kings remind us that notes have probably been scribbled and passed in the back of the classroom between acquiring team and agent. Which would, of course, be against the rules and thus would never happen.

Although defensive wings seem to be the Nets biggest interest, other names have been bandied about as well. Bobby Marks and Partnow both think Khem Birch, the Magic’s defensive-oriented big, Khem Birch might be a good match. Others have noted the availability of Magic shooting guard Evan Fournier and Pistons (and former Nets) shooting guard Wayne Ellington. Nets interest there could be a function of Landry Shamet’s ankle scan scheduled at HSS Monday.

And as Zach Lowe of ESPN writes in his trade rumor round-up, “The Nets likely will investigate Spencer Dinwiddie trades right up to the deadline, sources said.”

What about after the deadline passes? There’s still interest in Andre Drummond, interest shared by the Lakers, IF he isn’t traded by Thursday. Similarly, Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer reports that Gorgui Dieng of the Grizzlies could be available if Memphis can’t find as buyer for him. Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports added another name to the big man buyout list Monday reporting

It is becoming more likely that a new destination for the Cleveland Cavaliers backup center would occur not by trade, but rather a buyout, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

Then, there’s Brooklyn resident J.J. Redick who has long been linked to the Nets —and Knicks. He too could become more attractive if Shamet is out for a long stretch.

Adrian Wojnarowski in a podcast last week with Tim Bontemps and Cassidy Hubbarth, suggested that there might be some trades Tuesday and Wednesday, but the real action will come Thursday with a wave of transactions between noon and 3 p.m. He suggested there could be as many as 18 trades, although most will be minor.

The Nets, as of Monday morning at least, have one roster opening after agreeing to sign 6’8” Alize Johnson of the G League Raptors to a 10-day deal. But 10-day deals can be terminated at any time. In addition, the Nets have Chris Chiozza on a two-way deal.

Hang on to your iPhone.